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What Are the Greatest 2,020 Songs Ever? Philadelphia Is Deciding

What Are the Greatest 2,020 Songs Ever? Philadelphia Is Deciding
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What Are the Greatest 2,020 Songs Ever? Philadelphia Is Deciding

What Are the Biggest 2,020 Songs Ever? Philadelphia Is Deciding

However Warren is not any idiot. All of that Genesis testifies to a number of the station’s older listeners “who grew up listening to them on WMMR.” He says that the ultimate 200 songs will symbolize one thing of a consensus amongst these ballots, and that “No. 1 is No. 1 by rather a lot.” I wouldn’t let him spoil what sort of consensus, however I do surprise. Would it not be what my pals who’re additionally following alongside wearily predict? “Stairway to Heaven”? “Born to Run”? Would Aretha Franklin serve her normal canonical perform of hauling each Black America and womankind to the highest of the pile? Did nobody write the phrases “Sinead” and “O’Connor” on their poll?

One compelling facet of this countdown enterprise is philosophical. At 2,000-plus songs, some proportion was in all probability at all times going to hew to XPN’s style. Native acts just like the Hooters, Amos Lee and Low Minimize Connie are very a lot right here. And imagine it or not, “native” extends to Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel, who, as of noon Monday, had virtually 30 entries between them. However how would a countdown of the two,020 biggest songs proceed over at, say, WDAS, the place the format is now old-school R&B and “The Steve Harvey Morning Present” anchors the a.m. block? Energy 99 used to have a nightly countdown present that one tune — Shirley Murdock’s “As We Lay” or Keith Sweat’s “Make It Final Without end” or Prince’s “Adore”— would dominate for what felt like weeks. What would a extra epochal enterprise seem like? Would WMMR discover a solution to make inroads there, too?

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And what would the identical countdown reveal at the same station in Anchorage or Montgomery or Chicago or the Bay Space? Does it matter that a number of company behemoths have flattened pop’s palette? Can a chart nonetheless quantify native style? Would an correct reply show as vexing as exact electoral polling information, as a result of, partly, we now dwell on Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube? Is this whole course of simply too random and subjective to be value persevering with?

I vote no; it’s not. I treasure the folly of it, the surprises, the mind-bending thought {that a} rating course of might place the number one,995 subsequent to one thing as celestial as Franklin’s “Wonderful Grace” and go on to play one other tune after Ella Fitzgerald turns “Mack the Knife” into thrilling mass homicide. I believe “Good Disguise” is a greater Springsteen tune than the sure finalist “Born to Run,” however no chart will ever mirror that, as a result of it’s a blasphemous place. However I just like the drama of the blasphemy and the certitude of what a chart tells you: Modernization is difficult work. XPN’s is a kaleidoscope nonetheless.

It’s true that you could possibly construct your individual huge, completely tailor-made playlist. However you’d miss the astonishment of Kate Bush’s “Cloudbusting” kicking off the 767-to-764 block and A Tribe Known as Quest’s “State of affairs” ending it in smithereens. There’d be no shock in any respect in listening to, say, Edith Piaf’s “Non, je ne regrette rien” (1,093) comply with the Infamous B.I.G.’s “Juicy” (1,094), which had chased Paul McCartney and Wings’ “Band on the Run” (1,095). There’s no occurring upon Dan Fogelberg’s 40-year-old “Identical Auld Lang Syne” and swearing it is the lonely ghost lurking on Taylor Swift’s two quarantine albums. Ditto — in case you’re up late sufficient — for listening to XPN’s beginner host Rahman Wortman go a bit bonkers exclaiming that Outkast’s “B. O. B (Bombs Over Baghdad)” did certainly make the minimize.

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And also you actually couldn’t cringe at Olivia Newton-John’s “Xanadu” and the Richard Harris travesty referred to as “MacArthur Park.” I believe that the individuals who voted for these two know that they’re trolls. But it surely doesn’t matter. Even songs as baffling (positive, as horrendous) as these have culminated in days and days of one thing we’ve grown more and more estranged from: word-of-mouth radio.

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